Culture Wars/Current Controversies

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I agree with Dr. Gabb’s comments concerning this advertisement 100%. The discuss that follows on the Libertarian Alliance blog is also interesting.

By Dr. Sean Gabb

Libertarian Alliance


I suspect that many of our regulars will need to pause when they see this, to wipe the vomit off their monitors. But I suggest the following:

1. It is not our business what consenting adults do in bed together;
2. It is mean-spirited to pass even non-coercive hostile judgement on what they do;
3. So long as no one who disagrees with the above is persecuted, there is nothing objectionable about gay marriage;
4. While the ideal is for children to be brought up in a stable union of both their biological parents, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with the sort of family shown in the picture – it looks better than many defective versions of the ideal;
5. Though no hotelier should be forced to offer accommodation to such families, it is praiseworthy if one does.

I should, therefore, regard the advertisement as one of the few good things about the modern world. For some reason, however, I don’t. Is this because I am secretly as intolerant of homosexuality as Stephen Green? Or is it because the advertisement has an agenda that goes beyond liberal tolerance? Or am I now inclined to see Enemy Class propaganda in everything I look at?

All I can say for sure is that both men look like lefties.

21 replies »

  1. This seems to be a repeat of the Kinsella article from January of this year. My comments then still hold see:

    I really don’t get it, do libertarians want to destroy the capitalist system? Do Libertarians really want to side with cultural Marxism. Will Reich and Marcuse succeed where Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao failed? Probably.

    With all this talk about thick-libertarianism (really a leftist-Marxist hostile take over of libertarianism) we can already see the damage done if one accepts the basic principles of cultural Marxism. First Kinsella, then Charles Johnson, then Kevin Jennings?

    It seems that the obvious lesson from thick-libertarianism has been lost. If libertarians had not conceded so much to the left, the thick libs would not even be a problem. At least Mr. Gabb as the good taste to put a melancholy spin on his own views which is more than can be said for Kinsella.

    • I object to the notion that this is about thick libertarianism per se. Thick libertarianism is the notion that there are other values, priorities, and principles that reinforce libertarianism, or that coincide with it, or that can be extrapolated from it. Every conservative who describes some of his positions as libertarian is doing the exact same thing. Left libertarianism is one _kind_ of thickness, but there are other kinds.

      The essential point that gets lost in discussions of thick libertarianism is that _all_ forms of libertarianism that get applied to the actually existing world we inhabit are “thick”. It’s just that some of them don’t acknowledge the values, priorities, and principles that ride shotgun with the NAP.

      Thank God for Charles Johnson calling this out in his seminal essay on the matter. If you’re pressed for time, just read the last few paragraphs. Why don’t I just quote them?

      Second, it should be clear that I have not attempted to provide detailed justifications for the specific claims that I made on behalf of particular thick commitments—for example the claims that libertarians have strong reasons to oppose sexism or to support state-free efforts at mutual aid and labor solidarity. To explain the different forms of thickness, I drew most of my examples from the left libertarian literature, and I happen to think that there are good arguments to be made on that literature’s behalf. But for the purposes of this essay, these claims are intended as particular illustrations of underlying concepts—not as proofs of a detailed left libertarian analysis. For all I have said here, it might still be true that further argument would reveal reasons of thickness in application, or from grounds, or in strategy, or from consequences, that support a form of libertarianism quite different from that which I advocate, such as orthodox Objectivism, or even support a form that is almost exactly the opposite, such as Hoppean paleolibertarianism. Consider the reasons that Objectivists give for going beyond laissez-faire principles alone, and culturally glorifying big business specifically—it’s basically thickness from grounds (Randian egoism) and strategic thickness (in the belief that vilifying big business provides grist for the altruist-statist mill). Or consider the reasons that Hoppe offers for ostracizing homosexuals and condemning large-scale migration of unskilled laborers—it’s basically thickness from consequences, on the belief that without statist intervention against restrictive uses of property rights, these lifestyle choices would not be sustainable in the face of opposition from civil society. I, as a left libertarian, find these specific appeals specious (or, in Hoppe’s case, grotesque). But that means only that I disagree with the specific premises, not with the general forms of argument that all thick forms of libertarianism help themselves to.

      Just which actual social and cultural projects libertarians, as libertarians, should incorporate into theory and practice still needs to be hashed out in a detailed debate over specifics. But I hope that here I have at least cleared some of the ground that must be cleared for that debate to sensibly proceed.

  2. No, Comic Book Guy, I definitely got the point about the ad making you and your compadres puke all over your monitors quite clearly.

    Ever wonder why you and the other anarcho-fairies just aren’t getting any traction? It’s the hatred, the hate enabling, the segregationist crap, the racism, the exclusion, the emphasis on homos, just to name only a few of your many shortcomings.

        • Must have been the helmet and the voice that goes with it that did it. You’re so crafty. With tricks like that up your sleeve, you should be just about ready to take over at the end of your hero’s first Thousand Year Reich.

    • First, I’m too PC; now, not enough? I supposed there’s no pleasing a crypto-Nazi, libertaritard bell ringer.

  3. Not likely, since they’d all know how I’m using the term and only need to spend a few minutes here to know that the homo hatred is what spews from Attack The System. Hell, you accuse anyone to the supposed left of you libertitards and who criticizes you and yours as being cocksuckers, no?

    Given your effectiveness, shouldn’t you consider renaming this site “Gnat The System?”

  4. “Predictably, the point… I [was] making completely escaped you.” To which you followed with a pearl from political swine. Figures.

  5. Can we all agree to ignore the troll? This is like Internet 101 people.

    Also, it should be unremarkable that the corporate folks are just blowing in whatever direction the wind does. The idea that Marriot genuinely cares about anybody, let alone a newly-in historical outgroup, is silly on its face. This is the entire point I was making in my critique of PC: that instead of bringing humans closer together, political correctness encourages our authoritarian institutions to mediate these relationships in different ways. When the former happens, we as human beings learn more about ourselves and each other. When the latter happens, the state-capital nexus exercises discipline over us in the name of “progress” and “morality” to their own benefit, not ours.

    It seems pretty obvious to me that children having parents who are loving and stable is a good thing regardless of how those parents rub parts. And if you make this all about that issue, I’d argue you’re missing the big picture: the way every organization with a marketing budget will try to ride that wave.

    • Of course, Jeremy. And pay no attention to the overtly homophobic lede with which CBG is in 100% agreement. Nothing to see there.

      Bit of a control freak, aren’t you?

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